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USC 63, Arizona State 61: The Pac-10 season continued Thursday night in Tempe, with both teams needing wins, and needing them badly. USC came in having only won two out of their last five after a great start to the year, and the Sun Devils came in with a 1-6 record in Pac-10 play.
The game was close throughout, with the Sun Devils only taking a 31-29 lead into the locker rooms. Both teams came out hot in the second half, shooting the ball as well as they had all year. But when the Sun Devils finally went dry with about eight minutes to play, the Trojans pounced on it.
USC built up an eight point lead at 53-45, but Arizona State answered with a 13-5 run of their own to tie the game at 58 with 50 seconds left. The Trojans then made four straight free throws, but Trent Lockett came to the rescue and buried a three to pull ASU within one with 20 seconds left. Garret Jackson then missed his first free throw, but calmly knocked down the second to put the Trojans up three.
The Sun Devils went for the win, but Ty Abbott's three pointer with two seconds remaining missed. Arizona State did grab the rebound and got a timeout called with 0.5 seconds left, but another Abbott three was missed and the Trojans escaped Tempe with a victory.
Nikola Vucevic led the Trojans with 26 points, while Rihards Kuksiks led the Sun Devils with 22.
Arizona 85, UCLA 74: Both teams came into this game tied for 2nd in the Pac-10, with the winner having a great chance of holding that 2nd spot until March.
The game was close throughout the first half, but the Wildcats used a 4-0 run to make the score 38-33, a lead they would never relinquish. Arizona used that momentum to take a ten point lead early on in the final twenty minutes, a lead they eventually built up to 18 with 12:10 remaining. The Bruins made a small run to cut the deficit to nine, but it was too little too late, as a national ESPN2 audience saw that Arizona was the clear favorite to challenge Washington for the Pac-10 title.
Derrick Williams led the Wildcats with 22 points, while Reeves Nelson led the Bruins with 24.
Oregon 67, Stanford 59: "Stanford erased a 9-2 deficit to start the game, went into halftime tied at 29, and took a 38-32 lead early in the second half before going cold and falling behind by 10. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Anthony Brown and Jeremy Green pulled Stanford to within 56-52 with 5 minutes to play. The Cardinal trailed by the same margin with 1 minute remaining, when Brown stepped to the line for a pair of free throws.
After Brown made one of two, Oregon's E.J. Singler, who was taunted with chants of "You're not Kyle!" from the 6th Man Club, all but iced the game with a 3-point play to put Oregon ahead 63-57. The younger brother of Duke's Kyle Singler added five assists and three steals." (Recap via Rule of Tree)
Other game recaps and updated standings after the break
California 85, Oregon State 57: "As stated in the postgame thread, Oregon State's 1-3-1 (and to a lesser extent, their 2-3) zone isn't as potent as it once was. Their guards and forwards are much smaller and don't really bother the passing lanes the way they did when they had a much longer lineup. And although no one is going to call Jorge Gutierrez a natural point guard, his size and rugged nature gives him a great advantage over Jerome Randle in breaking it down.
As I emphasized before the game, Jorge would be the key to an easy victory or a long slog, and Gutierrez was able to find passing lanes whether on 2-on-1 fastbreaks or setting up his bigs while driving inside, and also managed to drive to the basket and either finish the play or get to the line. With 16 points and 11 assists, it was probably his most complete game this season at the point, and it's no coincidence it came against the Beavers." (Recap via California Golden Blogs)
Updated Pac-10 Standings
1. Washington, 15-4 (7-1)
2. Arizona, 17-4 (6-2)
3. UCLA, 13-7 (5-3)
4. California, 11-9 (4-4)
5. USC, 12-9 (4-4)
6. Washington State, 14-6 (4-4)
7. Oregon, 10-10 (3-5)
8. Stanford, 10-9 (3-5)
9. Oregon State, 8-11 (3-5)
10. Arizona State, 9-11 (1-7)
Once again, if you would like an excerpt from your blog's game recap, please let me know at ConnorOSU@gmail.com.